Senator Paul, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tried this week, in a talk at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, to become the voice of a new vision of Republican foreign policy. Rejecting the neoconservatism that has dominated Republican foreign policy thinking since at least 2001, Senator Paul summoned the spirit of George F. Kennan, the author of America’s cold war policy of containment, to suggest that the United States can manage Islamic terror, and even possibly a nuclear Iran, without necessarily waging open war….
I just want Senator Paul to publicly acknowledge that Islamist regimes like Iran and their jihadi clients are already waging open war on us, and have been for decades. To pretend otherwise it to expose himself as a classic Libertarian pacifist, which would make it very difficult for many of us to support him.
He needs to explicate his military policies beyond “Audit the Pentagon.” The Pentagon is not the enemy. Our Islamist enemies are.
This is not to say that our military is always right. The disastrous reign of Colin Powell and his unbroken record of mis-steps, lousy advice, failed leadership, and politicized wallbanging as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and later as a top adviser to George W. Bush well illustrates that observation. Still, our military is responsible for implementing our national defense, and if that involves breaking things and killing our enemies, so be it – that is what a military is first and foremost designed to do.
I just want to make sure that Senator Paul understands all this, and is not simply starting a standard Big-L Libertarian jihad against the military in general, or the concept that the best defense is quite often a good offense.